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Out of My Element: Sorority Recruitment

Keep On Keepin’ On: Cassie Bielecki

Out of My Element: Sorority Recruitment

Opening scene: the audience sees a girl’s blonde, shimmering hair shaking back and forth. Flash to a girl in a pink skirt riding past some fraternities on her bike. Before you know it, you’re inside the Delta Nu house, watching a pink envelope being passed from one small blonde to another. And then OH MY GOD there’s an adorable little Chihuahua scampering across the floor in a pink sweater grabbing that envelope!

Yes, I just did a lame description of the opening part of “Legally Blonde.” A little overenthusiastic at the end there, but I was hoping you would catch my drift of what movie I was going for.

Imagine though, that was my first exposure to the word “sorority”. Yeah, Elle Woods was how little ol’ me learned that a sorority was a thing. So, onward I went through life, having a pre-conceived notion bagged with some horrible stereotypes about sororities, all thanks to Reese Witherspoon, the over-use of the word “like” and the infamous Bend and Snap.

With that standard early-2000’s stereotype of blonde, bubbly sorority girls in my head, it’s no surprise that as a freshman, I was never interested in joining one. I had friends at the theatre and in communications classes, so I didn’t even think about meeting new people through the process. In fact, I argued against it. I was perfectly content having no part in Greek like.

And then about halfway through fall semester of my current sophomore year, I decided to give it a shot. I don’t remember what made me first think of it, but I know that my initial idea was to see if I could do it. This was so out of my realm, so the notion of me going all the way down the yellow brick road seemed highly unlikely.

Before I knew it, it was January and I was sitting in the information session for sorority recruitment weekend, hearing all about the long days we were about to be getting ourselves into. It seemed so extensive. The boys had it easy for fraternities – no huge weekend with a crazy time commitment.

Anyway, what I considered the actual first night was Thursday, which was a sort of “meet n’ greet” night, where you went in a circle in the Yehl Ballroom, meeting all of the sororities in what was essentially a speed-dating event. I’ll admit, my thoughts trailed and I thought about the speed-dating episode of “Psych,” where the bad guys turn out to be rigging the system and stealing identities. But I digress.

By Friday night, I felt a little more comfortable with my decision to pursue Greek life. Friday consisted of all 100 or so girls going from room to room in Palumbo in groups of about 20. Each room housed a sorority, and each round was 40 minutes long.

It was better than the night before, as we actually got a decent amount of time to speak to the girls in each sorority. Plus snacks. There were a lot of snacks, with an MVP appearance from Mr. Chicken Wing Dip. Basically, put snacks in a room and you will have made every college kid’s day.

I woke on Saturday to the realization that I still had to go to Tech Day at the theatre before I even got to the House Rounds for recruitment later in the day. House Rounds made Saturday my favorite day of the recruitment weekend, due to being able to see the houses and whatnot. I mean, I’m a sucker for tours of all kinds. Now, the only thing that could make any tour better is adding some spooky ghost stories. Alas, none of the sorority houses are haunted, at least that we know of.

I finished Saturday with a feeling that I could fit this in my life. It never seemed like anything in a realm of reality for myself until Saturday. So by Sunday, I was excited. Preference Rounds were a more serious event. It was a unique experience for sure, and I went back to my apartment re-thinking many things about the weekend.

The most-anticipated day of the recruitment process was of course Monday, when bids were dished out. I was just turning on my icy car when I received a phone call from a Rho Gamma (the sorority sisters who dis-affiliate during recruitment to help potentials with the process), telling me I received a bid.

I won’t say which one it was, but I can tell you that I turned it down. So why did I go through this long, tiring process, only to turn my bid down? Here’s why: I didn’t feel the fit with that sorority. Ladies, you don’t join a sorority just to join. You join because you feel at home there and because those girls feel like your sisters. I just didn’t feel that way, so I didn’t want to accept my bid.

I plan on going through informal recruitment in the upcoming fall, hopefully being able to find the right fit for me. I’ll admit, when I first denied my bid, I thought I would never get the chance again. I thought that maybe I should have taken it anyway, but then I remembered that I didn’t even pursue the recruitment process with an intent on joining a sorority. I started going through recruitment to find another group of friends.

Take it from the girl who admonished Greek life all the way up until this year: Greek life could be for you. If you’re a cynic like me, it’s a great experience to expand your social horizons. You don’t know until you give it a shot.

Cassie is a junior theatre & communication arts major whose interests and hobbies include eating food with chopsticks, memes, pirate literature, target shooting, steel drums and Chinese finger traps. She's an ROTC recruit, and life goals include waking people up with reveille.

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